Tuesday, July 10, 2012

574 Russia bans Homosexual propaganda. Transsexual (former man) joins women's basketball team

Russia bans Homosexual propaganda. Transsexual (former man) joins
women's basketball team

Newsletter published on 26-01-2013

(1) Russia bans Homosexual propaganda
(2) Genetics Professor seeks surrogate mother for cloned Neanderthal child
(3) Bill to authorize civil ceremonies for Marriage defeated in Israeli
Knesset
(4) No Same Sex marriage in Israel
(5) Proposed law on Gender identity leaves intersex 'vulnerable': being
intersex is a matter of biology
(6) Transsexual (former man) joins women's basketball team
(7) Why do men avoid marriage?
(8) Answer: Men avoid marriage because, at divorce, they lose assets,
kids, and income

(1) Russia bans Homosexual propaganda

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-moves-enact-anti-gay-law-nationwide-125825051.html

Russia moves to enact anti-gay law nationwide

By MANSUR MIROVALEV | Associated Press – Mon, Jan 21, 2013

MOSCOW (AP) — Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of
Russia's parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the
equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of "hooliganism." But if a bill
that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a
public kiss could be defined as illegal "homosexual propaganda" and
bring a fine of up to $16,000.

The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox
Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with
information that is defined as "propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism,
bisexuality and transgenderism." It includes a ban on holding public
events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other
Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.

The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as
opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and church see as
corrupting Russian youth and by extension contributing to a wave of
protest against President Vladimir Putin's rule.

Samburov describes the anti-gay bill as part of a Kremlin crackdown on
minorities of any kind — political and religious as well as sexual —
designed to divert public attention from growing discontent with Putin's
rule.

The lanky and longhaired Samburov is the founder of the Rainbow
Association, which unites gay activists throughout Russia. The gay
rights group has joined anti-Putin marches in Moscow over the past year,
its rainbow flag waving along with those of other opposition groups.

Other laws that the Kremlin says are intended to protect young Russians
have been hastily adopted in recent months, including some that allow
banning and blocking web content and print publications that are deemed
"extremist" or unfit for young audiences.

Denis Volkov, a sociologist with the Levada Center, an independent
pollster, says the anti-gay bill fits the "general logic" of a
government intent on limiting various rights.

But in this case, the move has been met mostly with either indifference
or open enthusiasm by average Russians. Levada polls conducted last year
show that almost two thirds of Russians find homosexuality "morally
unacceptable and worth condemning." About half are against gay rallies
and same-sex marriage; almost a third think homosexuality is the result
of "a sickness or a psychological trauma," the Levada surveys show.

Russia's widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by the
political and religious elite.

Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia's already low birth
rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo
forced medical treatment or be exiled. Orthodox activists criticized
U.S. company PepsiCo for using a "gay" rainbow on cartons of its dairy
products. An executive with a government-run television network said in
a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from
donating blood, sperm and organs for transplants, while after death
their hearts should be burned or buried.

The anti-gay sentiment was seen Sunday in Voronezh, a city south of
Moscow, where a handful of gay activists protesting against the
parliament bill were attacked by a much larger group of anti-gay
activists who hit them with snowballs.

The gay rights protest that won Samburov a fine took place in December.
Seconds after Samburov and his boyfriend kissed, militant activists with
the Orthodox Church pelted them with eggs. Police intervened, rounding
up the gay activists and keeping them for 30 hours first in a frozen van
and then in an unheated detention center. The Orthodox activists were
also rounded up, but were released much earlier.

Those behind the bill say minors need to be protected from "homosexual
propaganda" because they are unable to evaluate the information
critically. "This propaganda goes through the mass media and public
events that propagate homosexuality as normal behavior," the bill reads.

Cities started adopting anti-gay laws in 2006. Only one person has been
prosecuted so far under a law specifically targeted at gays: Nikolai
Alexeyev, a gay rights campaigner, was fined the equivalent of $160
after a one-man protest last summer in St. Petersburg.

In November, a St. Petersburg court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the
Trade Union of Russian Citizens, a small group of Orthodox conservatives
and Putin loyalists, against pop star Madonna. The group sought $10.7
million in damages for what it says was "propaganda of perversion" when
Madonna spoke up for gay rights during a show three months earlier.

The federal bill's expected adoption comes 20 years after a
Stalinist-era law punishing homosexuality with up to five years in
prison was removed from Russia's penal code as part of the democratic
reforms that followed the Soviet Union's collapse.

Most of the other former Soviet republics also decriminalized
homosexuality, and attitudes toward gays have become a litmus test of
democratic freedoms. While gay pride parades are held in the three
former Soviet Baltic states, all today members of the European Union,
same-sex love remains a crime in authoritarian Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In Russia, gays have been whipsawed by official pressure and persistent
homophobia. There are no reliable estimates of how many gays and
lesbians live in Russia, and only a few big cities such as Moscow and
St. Petersburg have gay nightclubs and gyms. Even there, gays do not
feel secure.

When a dozen masked men entered a Moscow night club during a "coming out
party" that campaigner Samburov organized in October, he thought they
were part of the show. But then one of the masked men yelled, "Have you
ordered up a fight? Here you go!" The men overturned tables, smashed
dishes and beat, kicked and sprayed mace at the five dozen men and women
who had gathered at the gay-friendly Freedays club, Samburov and the
club's administration said.

Four club patrons were injured, including a young woman who got broken
glass in her eye, police said. Although a police station was nearby,
Samburov said, it took police officers half an hour to arrive. The
attackers remain unidentified.

On the next day, an Orthodox priest said he regretted that his religious
role had not allowed him to participate in the beating.

"Until this scum gets off of Russian land, I fully share the views of
those who are trying to purge our motherland of it," Rev. Sergiy Rybko
was quoted as saying by the Orthodoxy and World online magazine. "We
either become a tolerant Western state where everything is allowed — and
lose our Christianity and moral foundations — or we will be a Christian
people who live in our God-protected land in purity and godliness."

In other parts of Russia, gays feel even less secure. Bagaudin
Abduljalilov moved to Moscow from Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim
region in southern Russia where he says some gays have been beaten and
had their hands cut off, sometimes by their own relatives, for bringing
shame on their families.

"You don't have any human rights down there," he said. "Anything can be
done to you with impunity."

Shortly before moving to Moscow, Abduljalilov left Islam to become a
Protestant Christian, but was expelled from a seminary after telling the
dean he was gay. He also has had trouble finding a job as a television
journalist because of discrimination against people from Dagestan.

"I love Russia, but I want another Russia," said Abduljalilov, 30, who
now works as a clerk. "It's a pity I can't spend my life on creative
projects instead of banging my head against the wall and repeating, 'I'm
normal, I'm normal.' "

(2) Genetics Professor seeks surrogate mother for cloned Neanderthal child

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265402/Adventurous-human-woman-wanted-birth-Neanderthal-man-Harvard-professor.html

Saturday, Jan 26 2013 12AM

Wanted: 'Adventurous woman' to give birth to Neanderthal man - Harvard
professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby

* Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can
reconstruct Neanderthal DNA
* His ambitious plan requires a human volunteer willing to allow
the DNA to be put into stem cells, then a human embryo

By Allan Hall and Fiona Macrae

PUBLISHED: 15:36 GMT, 20 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:16 GMT, 21 January 2013

They're usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species.

So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby?

Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading
geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct
close relative back to life.

Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can
reconstruct Neanderthal DNA and resurrect the species which became
extinct 33,000 years ago.

His scheme is reminiscent of Jurassic Park but, while in the film
dinosaurs were created in a laboratory, Professor Church’s ambitious
plan requires a human volunteer.

He said his analysis of Neanderthal genetic code using samples from
bones is complete enough to reconstruct their DNA.

He said: ‘Now I need an adventurous female human.

‘It depends on a hell of a lot of things, but I think it can be done.’

Professor Church’s plan would begin by artificially creating Neanderthal
DNA based on genetic code found in fossil remains. He would put this DNA
into stem cells.

These would be injected into cells from a human embryo in the early
stages of life.

It is thought that the stem cells would steer the development of the
hybrid embryo on Neanderthal lines, rather than human ones.

After growing in the lab for a few days, the ‘neo-Neanderthal’ embryo
would be implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother – the volunteer.
Professor Church, 58, is a pioneer in synthetic biology who helped
initiate the Human Genome Project that mapped our DNA.

He says Neanderthals were not the lumbering brutes of the stereotype,
but highly intelligent. Their brains were roughly the same size as
man’s, and they made primitive tools.

He believes his project could benefit mankind.

He told German magazine Der Spiegel: ‘Neanderthals might think
differently than we do. They could even be more intelligent than us.

‘When the time comes to deal with an epidemic or getting off the planet,
it’s conceivable that their way of thinking could be beneficial.’

Scientists say that his plan is theoretically possible, although in
Britain, like most countries, human reproductive cloning is a criminal
offence.

But Professor Church’s proposal is so cutting-edge that it may not be
covered by existing laws.

However, experts worry that neo-Neanderthals might lack the immunity to
modern diseases to survive, and some fear that the process might lead to
deformity.

There is also uncertainty over how they would fit into today’s world.
Bioethicist Bernard Rollin of Colorado State University said: ‘I don’t
think it’s fair to put people... into a circumstance where they are
going to be mocked and possibly feared.’

In a scathing reaction, Philippa Taylor of the Christian Medical
Fellowship said: ‘It is hard to know where to begin with the ethical and
safety concerns.’

(3) Bill to authorize civil ceremonies for Marriage defeated in Israeli
Knesset


http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/8651/the-other-civil-union

The Other Civil Union

Never mind gay marriage. In Israel, even the conventional variety is tricky.

By Michael Weiss

July 1, 2009 7:00 AM

The term “civil union” has acquired special meaning in the United States
as the alternative legal code allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the
social and economic advantages of marriage. But in Israel, it connotes
something simpler: the right for any couple, gay or straight, to wed
without the approval of the Chief Rabbinate, an Orthodox governing body
that still determines the only legally acceptable form of wedlock in the
Jewish state. At present there are about 300,000 Reform Jews,
secularists, “illegitimate” converts, and non-native Israelis who can’t
obtain a recognized marriage in Israel. If you ask most close observers
of the debate, their battle is a decidedly agonized one.

Early in June, a bill that would have authorized civil unions,
cosponsored by a host of Kadima and Labor representatives, was defeated
in the Knesset due largely to a turnabout by Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael
Beiteinu. The party—whose largest voting bloc is made up of immigrants
from the former Soviet Union and their first-generation children, many
of whom the rabbinate does not consider halachically Jewish—had
campaigned in this year’s national election on the promise of delivering
a civil union bill. But, once in power, Lieberman changed his position
to dovetail with that of the Orthodox and Haredi parties—including Shas,
Agudat Yisrael and Bayit Yehudi—that make up Benjamin Netanyahu’s
coalition government. (Calls and emails to the Yisrael Beiteinu
Jerusalem headquarters went unanswered.)

Israel may be a modern democracy, but its marriage laws are moored to
19th-century empire—Ottoman, to be exact. The decision to grant the
Israeli rabbinate complete control over Jewish matrimony derives from
the Turkish millet system in which each confessional community—Jewish,
Christian, or Muslim—was unilaterally in charge of its own population’s
marriage laws. This system was kept in place under British Mandate
Palestine, which, operating under the assumption that monotheistic
groups are best left to govern themselves, refused to recognize
marriages conducted outside of these communities (excluding consular
marriages for colonial officials, and civil divorces obtained in other
countries).

Once Israel was founded, the law swung between insularity and
inclusiveness. After the founding of the state, David Ben-Gurion, who
did not want to alienate religious Jews eager to make aliyah, entered
into the so-called status quo agreement, whereby confessional
communities would continue to oversee the process of marriage
registration. Membership in the Jewish community was determined by the
“Knesset Israel” courts until 1953, when rabbinical courts assumed full
jurisdiction over this and other arcane questions of Jewishness. The
rabbis hewed to an Orthodox interpretation of halacha—according to which
one needs to have been born to a Jewish mother or to have undergone an
accepted Orthodox conversion—in deciding who is and is not “Jewish,” and
thus fit for Israeli matrimony. Two Supreme Court cases liberalized the
nuptial code somewhat: in 1951, the Court decided that marriages that
took place outside of Israel and were conducted by a rabbinical
court—with proven halachic legitimacy—should be recognized. And in 1961,
it ruled that the Ministry of the Interior must register married couples
who were joined in civil unions outside of Israel, regardless of whether
one or both of the partners were Israeli citizens.

Unmarried cohabitating couples are granted certain tax, insurance, and
inheritance benefits under the Israeli version of common-law
marriage—known as rishum hazugiyut—but their unions, and the families
that derive from them, are not formally recognized by the state. (In
2007, the Olmert government even passed a law that created a separate
category of gentiles; these indisputable non-Jews were now allowed to
marry each other in Israel, provided they didn’t try to marry Jews.) As
a result, atheists, secular Jews, Reform Jews, and Jews who refuse to
undergo Orthodox conversion rituals must travel outside Israel to a
civil ceremony that will then be recognized by the Israeli government.
Cyprus is the most popular destination given the proximity and lower
cost of the proceedings.

Even Jews may be forbidden from marrying other Jews with higher
pedigrees, if the rabbinate so decrees. Consider the case of Irina
Plotkinov, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, who in 2005 was
deemed Jewish by the same rabbinical court that also said she could not
lawfully marry the man she fell in love with: native Israeli Shmuel
Cohen. While the court determined Plotkinov was indeed Jewish and
single, it prohibited her from marrying a kohen, or a man considered by
Jewish custom to be a descendant of Aaron and the priests of the First
Temple.

Some American converts to Orthodox Judaism have trouble navigating the
caprices of the Israeli rabbinate, too. Avraham Elhiany, the son of a
Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, underwent an Orthodox conversion in
Metairie, Louisiana. He then met and fell for an Israeli woman and
scheduled a lavish wedding ceremony in her hometown of Ma’alot. But when
the pair presented themselves to the town’s rabbi, they were told that
his conversion was not legitimate. According to San Francisco’s J
Weekly, which first reported the story, the rabbi’s complaint was that
Elhiany’s conversion certificate was handwritten instead of typed (and
never mind that a typewriter with Hebrew typesetting was unavailable in
Metairie); that it was also signed by three rabbis in the town’s
Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel meant little in terms of state
recognition.

Adding to the confusion are countervailing definitions of what it means
to be “Jewish” under Israeli citizenship laws. In 1970, Prime Minister
Golda Meir and her Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira acceded to
mounting Orthodox pressures to stipulate that while the Israeli Law of
Return would still apply to a person who only had one Jewish parent or
grandparent, and to that person’s spouse, the civil definition of a Jew
would be narrowly defined as “someone who was born to a Jewish mother,
or who converted and is not a member of another religion.” This created
a kind of limbo realm within the greater Zionist project: technically
speaking, a Diaspora Jew may make aliyah and live the rest of his life
as a full citizen in Israel, but not be able to obtain a marriage license.

According to Rabbi Seth Farber, head of the Jerusalem-based Jewish-Life
Information Center, which helps recent and would-be converts navigate
the country’s conversion laws, this seeming contradiction is actually
rooted in the fact that the Jewish state was founded not just as a
bulwark against anti-Semitism, but as a check on assimilation. “In the
infancy of the state, the marriage issue never really came up,” Farber
says. “Pretty much everybody identified with the Jewish religious
community. But in an era in which the rabbinate refuses to certify
plenty of well-meaning and observant Jews as eligible for marriage, it
ought to take the lead in creating a civil alternative for people.” The
rabbinate, Farber explains, understands that it has a mounting social
problem on its hands but worries that by lowering its criteria, it will
inch ever closer to the legitimization of intermarriage in Israel.
Nevertheless, Farber argues, “the threshold for proving one’s Jewishness
in this country will come down the moment there is a civil marriage
alternative. The rabbinate will want to stay relevant, and it’ll have to
adapt.” Changing internal demographics might accelerate that adaptation.
If Arab Israelis outnumber Jewish Israelis in the coming decades, as
forecasts suggests they will, then the state should want to do
everything it can to encourage sanctioned marriages, even at the expense
of defining down eligibility—and Jewishness.

To get a sense of how at odds Israel is with itself on this question,
one need only look at one of the lesser-studied clauses of Netanyahu’s
coalition government agreement. As reported by Rabbi Farber in a
Hebrew-language article for Haaretz, the current administration mandates
that any future civil union bill that is passed will still grant full
authority to the Chief Rabbinate to determine who is not Jewish enough
for a religious marriage and therefore eligible for a civil union. In
this Kafkaesque scenario, a person turned away by a rabbi for not being
Jewish enough may then be turned away again for not being able to prove it.

“You’re not going to get the Haredim to say, yes, civil marriage is
okay,” says Shmarya Rosenberg, the proprietor of the Failed Messiah
blog, which monitors the American and Israeli Orthodox community. He
adds that the entire Israeli electoral system—the entire nation votes as
a whole for a party list, not as constituents from separate districts
for individual candidates—would have to be overhauled in order to reduce
the power of the Orthodox parties and their mainstream allies, like
Netanyahu’s Likud.

So will things change? While these conditions are no doubt unpleasant
for people who can’t legally say “I do,” yet may not be able to afford
overseas nuptials, they are not dire yet enough warrant substantive
reform. “If you’re Jewish and you were married five years ago, you have
not confronted the problem that exists today,” Rosenberg says. “The
problem is much worse for anyone who isn’t Orthodox. As the Haredi
strength grows and their control grows, that’ll become clearer.”
Rosenberg adds that because an influential party like Shas is founded as
much on Sephardic pride as it is on Orthodox religiosity, there’s an
added ethnic component to this debate, which complicates it further.
“Lots of non-religious voters vote for Shas, and while they may be for
civil unions in theory, there’s enormous social pressure to practically
oppose civil unions in opinion polls and at the ballot box.”

(4) No Same Sex marriage in Israel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Israel

Same-sex marriage in Israel

[...] Same-sex marriage cannot legally be performed in Israel. Under the
confessional community system that operates in Israel, each of the
recognised confessional communities regulates the personal status,
including marriage and divorce, of its members. The religious authority
for Jewish marriages is the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and there are
parallel authorities for Christians, Muslims, Druze and nine Christian
authorities, with a total of 15 religious courts. These regulate all
marriages and divorces for their own communities. Currently they all
oppose same-sex marriages. If the views of one of these bodies were to
change, however, it would be legal for members of that religious
community to enter into same-sex marriages in Israel. The exception are
foreign marriages, including same-sex marriages, which do not require
the sanction of religious authorities and which are recognized in
Israel. Same-sex marriages performed abroad can be registered in Israel,
but this registration carries no legal effect.[1]

Notwithstanding the nonavailability of same-sex marriage in Israel,
unmarried same-sex and heterosexual couples in Israel have equal access
to nearly all of the rights of marriage in the form of unregistered
cohabitation status, akin to common-law marriage

[...] Marriage in Israel

Main article: Marriage in Israel

The religious authority for Jewish marriages is the Chief Rabbinate of
Israel and there are parallel authorities for Christians, Muslims and
Druze with a total of 15 religious courts. These regulate all marriages
and divorces for their own communities. Currently they all oppose
same-sex marriages. If the views of one of these bodies were to change,
however, it would be legal for members of that religious community to
enter into same-sex marriages in Israel.

Same-sex wedding ceremonies without legal significance can be conducted
in Israel,[10] which, coupled with legally recognized foreign marriages,
allows for both same-sex wedding ceremonies in Israel and legal
recognition of same-sex marriages in Israel, on condition that the
marriage certificates come from another country. The first unofficial
municipal wedding took place in August 2009 following the Tel Aviv Pride
Parade; five couples were married by Mayor Ron Huldai. The traditional
verse from Psalm 137, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand
wither..." replaced "Jerusalem" with "Tel Aviv," Israel's most
gay-accepting city.[11][12]

[edit]Foreign same-sex marriages

On November 21, 2006 the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the government
to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad. The case was filed by
five male Israeli couples married in Canada.[1] The ruling dealt with
the registration of the marriage in Israel, noting that it does not
refer to the validity of those marriages.

Moshe Gafni, a Haredi MK, said that he would consider presenting a bill
to the Knesset to attempt to overturn the court ruling.

In December of 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex married
couples can legally get a divorce in Israel through the non-religious
courts.

[edit]Rights of same-sex couples

Same-sex couples in Israel enjoy most of the rights of married couples,
as do unmarried heterosexual couples, and the 2006 Court decision allows
married same-sex couples the same tax breaks as opposite-sex married
couples, as well as the legal right to adopt children.

This page was last modified on 23 January 2013 at 23:44.

(5) Proposed law on Gender identity leaves intersex 'vulnerable': being
intersex is a matter of biology


http://www.smh.com.au/national/proposed-law-leaves-intersex-vulnerable-20130120-2d18b.html

Proposed law leaves intersex 'vulnerable'

January 21, 2013

Judith Ireland

THE federal government's proposed anti-discrimination laws leave
intersex people vulnerable to discrimination, advocates say.

The Organisation Intersex International Australia has raised concerns
about the draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, which is
before a Senate inquiry.

Its president, Gina Wilson, pictured, said while the draft bill attempts
to include intersex people under the category of "gender identity," this
is inappropriate as being intersex is a matter of biology, not gender
identity.

"[Intersex] is not a sexual orientation, it's actual physical
differences," Ms Wilson said.

She said it was "vitally important" that "intersex" was listed
separately as a protected attribute, noting that previous attempts to
bring discrimination cases under state laws - which have similar wording
to the proposed federal legislation - had been rejected because the
issues were not about gender identity.

Estimates of the number of intersex people vary and depend on the
definition. OII Australia says an intersex person may have biological
attributes of both sexes or lack some attributes considered necessary to
be defined as male or female. Research by Brown University's Professor
Anne Fausto-Sterling that includes chromosomal conditions such as
Klinefelter and Turner syndromes estimates intersex birthrates to be
about 1.7 per cent.

Ms Wilson, who is an intersex woman, says that discrimination for
intersex people is a daily issue.

"We're generally considered to be freaks or weirdos," she said. "People
stop and stare and point and look."

In its submission to the inquiry, OII Australia cites workplace
harassment, losing work contracts, having problems booking airfares
online and being pressured to have medical treatments (such as
testosterone therapy), as examples of discrimination experienced by its
members.

Ms Wilson said she was moved out of a female ward in a Sydney public
hospital four years ago, while recovering from a hysterectomy, and put
in a cleared-out storage room because other patients were uncomfortable
by her "observed differences", including the sound of her voice.

(6) Transsexual (former man) joins women's basketball team

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/colleges/17011957-419/transgender-player-attains-college-basketball-first.html

Transgender player attains college basketball first

ASSOCIATED PRESS December 14, 2012 11:01AM

Updated: December 14, 2012 11:02AM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The women’s basketball team at Mission College
expected the bleachers to be full and the hecklers ready when its newest
player made her home court debut.

In the days leading up to the game, people had plenty to say about
6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound Gabrielle Ludwig, who joined the Lady Saints as
a mid-season walk-on and became, according to advocates, the first
transsexual to play college hoops as both a man and a woman.

Coach Corey Cafferata worried the outside noise was getting to his
players, particularly the 50-year-old Ludwig.

A pair of ESPN radio hosts had laughed at her looks, referring to her as
“it.” And online threats and anonymous calls prompted the two-year
college to assign the Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm a safer
parking space next to the gym and two police guards.

Last week, Ludwig gathered her 10 teammates at practice and offered to
quit. This was their time to shine, she told the group of 18-, 19- and
20-year-olds. She didn’t want to be a distraction for the team. The
other women said if Ludwig, whom they nicknamed “Big Sexy” and
“Princess,” didn’t play, they wouldn’t either.

Didn’t she know she was the glue holding the team together?

“Then let’s just play basketball,” she replied solemnly, looking each
teammate in the eye. ...

What the naysayers do not know, she said, is that Ludwig is not the same
player she was as a 24-year-old male. She has less muscle and height,
because of female hormones she takes. And at her age, she has to work to
keep up. ...

(7) Why do men avoid marriage?

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/citykat/why-do-men-avoid-marriage-20121129-2aie0.html

November 30, 2012

CityKat

Katherine Feeney is a journalist, professional people watcher and pop
culture critic. She is formalising her interest in human relationships
through an anthropology degree. You may occasionally spot her on the tele.

On boy wonders, lonely bachelors and whether marriage makes you happy.

I’m at that point in the space-time continuum when I can trot out the
gross generalisation "all my friends are getting married". I say it’s a
generalisation because not everyone is getting actually married – not
everyone can, for one – and it's gross because it props up the notion
marriage is the ultimate expression of relationship success. In my view,
nuptials are not necessary.

But it stands; many of my friends are marriage mad.

Except for the blokes, that is.

Why are men around my age so reluctant to tie the knot?

Several women I know – all around 30 – are beginning to question the
wisdom of the wedding ultimatum. "Either you propose to me by Christmas
or we're quits, pal," they say. "We've been together long enough now,
it's 'I do' or die.”

They wonder what’s holding up their husbands-to-be. They’re all in
long-term, apparently loving relationships. Isn't marriage the next
logical step?

Variously, they decide it's not their man, but the men he hangs out
with. The single lads; lads who love a night out, aren’t 'shackled' with
a ball and chain, and who make fun of supine surrender under his
missus's thumb. These are the boy wonders who won't ever 'grow up'.

(Note how marriage is still aligned with maturity. Is a ring really the
sign of a more developed individual?)

On that idea, I recently had a conversation with a close man-friend of
mine. He may be described as the definitive leader of Lost Boys. At
least, he might have been, were it not for the new Wendy-lady in his
life. Suddenly, the serial playmaker had found a reason to stop flying
and settle down. His band of boys didn't really understand. That was
hard. Could he overcome their derision and 'man-up' to marriage?

"I think my boyfriend will get over his friends and we'll get there
eventually," a girlfriend, in a different-but-like situation told me
recently. "But I think the longer we leave it, the harder it becomes."

This is because of two things, she thinks. One: the diminishing chances
his single friends will find a lady of their own and break-apart the
dude squad. Two: the increased likelihood their friends, who are already
married, will divorce.

Her points are somewhat valid. Based on Australian marriage statistics,
there are roughly two 'peak' periods for meeting a life partner. The
median age for first marriage sits at around 30 for both men and women
(or 29 for men and 27 for women), so the years preceding the big
three-zero are optimal match-making time. Then there’s the so-called
'second round' stretch, when a surge of newly single divorcees hit the
market. Given most marriages that end in divorce tend to do so after
eight to nine years, round two begins at around 36.

What the above fails to mention, of course, is that the number of births
outside marriage is rising along with the age of the mothers
(interestingly their median age is around the same that for first-time
brides), and the crude marriage rate is declining as de facto
co-habitation rates are rising. This doesn't suggest that couples
comprising a peer group are just as likely to be married as they are de
facto, with or without children, but it does suggest a variety of
relationship options are presented to people with increasing regularity.

So in one sense, the reasoning that men are putting off marriage because
they've seen the broken or bad marriages of their formerly 'free and
single' mates is flawed; they may be less inclined to propose marriage
because they’ve seen their mates shacked up in circumstances less
official which are just as satisfying (if not more).

But then you read articles like this, tellingly titled I was a "male
spinster", and you're reminded just how locked in to this marriage ideal
we really are. Yes, even blokes. Fact remains; marriage remains our
chief expression of love. It is closely linked with an ever expanding
scholarship on the attainment of happiness. Not only is this strong
reason to bring forward marriage equality, but it's a good reminder to
anyone in a relationship treading around the edges of eternal commitment
to talk about it, and resolve to abide by the outcome.

Even if that outcome is: Yes to marriage, but not to you.

And, I have to say, that may just be the painful truth so many so
desperate to get hitched have to face. Yes, marriage can make you happy.
But a bad marriage will make you miserable. Yes, timing plays a part,
but there is such a thing as right time, wrong person.

Surely the point question should be not why so many men appear so
reluctant to marry, but why so many women appear to be so eager?

(At this juncture, I'd like to point out I'm not assuming all women want
to get married. Kill that thought in your head dead before commenting
below please. Of course all women want to get married. It is science*)

(*Please tell me you don’t need this asterisk as confirmation that I am,
indeed, joking.)

Over to you. Are you married? Are you single? Are you de facto? Are you
happy?

(8) Answer: Men avoid marriage because, at divorce, they lose assets,
kids, and income


http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/citykat/why-do-men-avoid-marriage-20121129-2aie0.html

Comments:

Greg November 30, 2012, 1:55PM

Marriage itself is not the problem, the likelihood of subsequent divorce is.

Marriage puts men under the durisdiction of the Family Court, which is a
seething cesspit of misandry.

Men will lose most of their assets, including those that they owned
prior to marriage, and they will also lose most of their future income.
They will also lose custody of any kids.

They will need to continue to financially support their ex-wives, who
don't have any ongoing obligations to their ex-husbands. Imagine if
ex-wives were expected to continue to provide sex or housework after
divorce!

And pre-nuptial agreements can be ignored by the Family Court on a whim.

I'm not anti-women. Most of them are nice people, although even nice
people turn nasty during a divorce. And men are totally at the mercy of
their ex-wives during a divorce. Some men may be lucky enough to have an
amicable relationship breakdown with an honourable woman.

But if the woman chooses to be vindictive, the man will be totally screwed.

It's much safer not to get married in the first place. And don't live
with anybody for two years or more either, because you can get screwed
just as badly under defacto laws. ==

Babette Brunswick November 30, 2012, 3:09PM

Rather than advise men not to marry at all why not advise them to be
considerate about who they marry, and if their girlfriend shows signs of
being vindictive (perhaps to their friends or family members during the
stage of courting) then not to marry THEM.

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